Tuesday, February 11, 2014

That ugly "welfare" word that gets people going

That's right, I said it...WELFARE.  It gets conservatives who are anti-government to go hay-wire about their hard-earned tax dollars, and the Catholics who read the Bible to yell at the people who are going crazy because it's giving to the poor, and liberals to split in half because we've got a "some-give-all" crew who might be willing their kidney to help someone in need (at least in theory) and others who recognize that there are definitely some MAJOR issues with welfare, but there are also a lot of people who really do NEED IT.  

I think MOST Americans (and this is based on zero facts or figures and completely on conversations, angry facebook interactions and entertaining "democrats are non-working tax-sucking welfare-loving drains on society"-memes) actually TOTALLY AGREE that welfare is a major issue BECAUSE there are abuses.  Where there are differences seem really to come on how people would choose to solve it, or not.  This mostly leaves only a few actual boiled-down opinions which are "leave it alone, some people need it" and "get rid of it, 99% of people on welfare don't need it and the others aren't enough to make it worth it for my tax payments."  

While I recognize and understand both sides to this, I think what we'd all ACTUALLY like is welfare reform, which we are seeing slowly (but surely) in things like drug-testing people who receive welfare...because yes, I believe that you and your children and/or spouse should be living in a drug-free-zone if you are receiving public assistance since drug use is a criminal offense (I'd add that there should be more emphasis then placed on drug rehabilitation to help people who are both using drugs AND assistance to get them on the right path, but that may or may not be related to said welfare overhaul).  

So overall, the government is using only about 12% of your total taxes to help others.  Go on with your bad self for being generous by paying your taxes.  If you think this is a lot, then you can see how it's broken down further to realize that this 12% is not all welfare, either, and actually is split up even MORE to other good deeds to assist those with hardships.  Calculations actually show a decrease in this spending when the economy is doing better...less abusive people, less people "sitting on their butts collecting my hard-earned money" because, YES, the large portion of people that actually NEEDED those services 'during hardship' are hard-working people who DID stop needing the government system in place to help them when they fell down (as it would for you, if you were ever to say...lose your job in a small town whose mine had just closed because it's unhealthy for you, you have medical bills up the wazoo because you're been inhaling coal dust for virtually your whole life and you actually can't work because you're sick and your family member has to stay home to help you and therefore ALSO can't work...but that won't be you because you're not married, and you are not a coal miner...so you can ignore the example ---PLEASE NOTE THE SARCASM).

Ok--so since I'm not going to resolve the issue of welfare (at least not today) hopefully we've seen some information that helps us to understand that not all tax money that goes to public assistance is welfare money, and, more importantly, according to the numbers it helps people who don't just take from the system and continue to do so, but people who prefer to get back into work and their 'normal' lives.  

In case you still need any other reasons to believe that supporting the people who need it most in times of hardship is a good idea, even when there are abuses of the system...feel free to listen to what this world- renowned author has to say about welfare...and consider a few questions; How would the world be different if there was no "safety net" for people like her?  How many people who have gone on to do wonderful things came from homes or families that desperately needed help?  Would it be worth it not to have their contributions to society?  Can we apply this to all people and not just famous people who we have heard of and have some connection with?  Something worth considering...as usual, trying to present another perspective.

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